Nike Recruits Kobe Bryant to Give Gonzaga and Oregon Pep Talks Before Final Four

Two of Nike’s Final Four–bound men’s basketball teams got a surprise pep talk Wednesday from one of the game’s all-time greatest players.

According to ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made a stop in Arizona to rally the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Oregon Ducks ahead of their semifinal matchups on Saturday. The specifics of Bryant’s speeches are unclear, but it’s safe to say the five-time NBA champion had some valuable insight for the teams.

The Bulldogs’ standout center Przemysław “Przemek” Karnowski shared a photo with Bryant, who retired from the NBA last year.

Final Four action tips off Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET as the Bulldogs take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. That will be followed by the Ducks versus the North Carolina Tar Heels at 8:49 p.m. ET, meaning there’s a chance that Gonzaga and Oregon could ultimately end up facing off for the championship come Monday.

Both teams took to Twitter Wednesday to share images of their arrivals in Phoenix, where the Final Four games will take place at the  University of Phoenix Stadium.

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